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Posts: 3
Registered: ‎01-22-2019

Flakiest app on my phone by far

[ Edited ]

I have a wemo system that I have been adding to over the last 3 years - currently have 6 dimmers and 5 switches. And I am getting close to giving up (eating the cost) and switching to something else. The problem isn't that it never works - if that were the case Belkin could trouble-shoot and determine the cause and probably fix it. The problem is that it malfunctions in various ways at various times and is just generally flakey.

 

Sometimes the rules stop working such that a light with an auto-off timer stays on all night. Sometimes Alexa can't reach the device. Sometimes the app shows "not detected" for a while and then they appear again. To be clear, Alexa almost never has a problem with other smart lights (I have several brands) and the apps for those other brands instantly show the status of those lights and what is going on with them. Wemo is the outlier. Wemo just feels flakey and this is further evidenced by me searching the forums for some of these same problems and the answer invariably being "make sure everything is upgraded, if so remove the device and re-add". I agree that people should be on the latest versions but I don't think that is the issue most of the time and it certainly isn't for me as I am always making sure these devices have the latest version. And removing the device and adding again as a first line trouble shooting step is a joke unless it isn't connecting at all. If it is connected there should be some sort of diagnostics output to help determine what the root cause of the problem is. Belkin never says "we determined the root cause of your isse and have a bug fix for it"!!

 

Also, I would like to add that the problem (if it is related to my wifi) isn't signal strength as I have gone to some lengths to make sure each device is close to an Unifi AP and actually ensure it connects to the closest one. And I have verified that it is connected while experiencing issues. So if it is related to the wifi it would be really nice if the app reported the device as having connection issues and gave some details. Also, if it is the wifi, why would things like the auto-off rule intermittently fail?

 

I am a software developer myself and the whole Wemo ecosystem just smells of a badly executed architecture with features being added (like homekit) at the expense of stability. I wish they would focus on the basics first and then add features as if it doesn't work reliably then there is no point. It is too bad because I actually like the hardware.

Moderator
Posts: 18
Registered: ‎02-14-2019

Re: Flakiest app on my phone by far

@jeremyk

 

 

 

Hi there. We understand you have several challenges being encountered with using the Wemo device/s, and app. Your feedback is noted as well for reference. You mentioned that your devices become undetected on the Wemo app, hence Alexa is having a hard time reaching the devices. When this happens, what’s the LED status of the Wemo device/s? When this happens, does it only affects the Wemo plugs, or your other devices as well?  How long does it stay disconnected? If you’re having an intermittent Wi-Fi connection, things like these happen. Just make sure that the distance of the Wemo devices and router/AP isn’t that far. You can also move the router into an open space, preferably not in between walls, or inside a cabinet. Also, the number of devices connected to the Wi-Fi may also interfere with the connection as well. With regards to the rules running at incorrect times, you can try deleting/re-creating the rule, or use another handheld device when recreating the rule and check of the same thing happens.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rowena_B 22017

Wemo Technical Support

Posts: 26
Registered: ‎03-21-2019

Re: Flakiest app on my phone by far

@jeremyk, welcome to the club.

We are all still waiting for Wemo to let us know how to get refunds to their devices that we cannot return since they are useless.

We still have not received any response from anyone in the company about that.

We need more people to ask for that information.
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎03-29-2019

Re: Flakiest app on my phone by far

I agree 100%. The app stopped working after the last firmware update. I am going to look for another system
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎03-29-2019

Re: Flakiest app on my phone by far

It is quite unfortunate that this company is failing to support its devices and its customers.  Don't kid yourself for a moment...they are not going to eat the cost of either sending us new units or refunding our money.  It just simply isn't going to happen.  And you know what?  I'm not all that sad about it.  The old saying..'Fool me once....' applies here.

 

I have had two devices...thank God I didn't buy any more of them. And to be perfectly honest, they have never worked 100%....when they worked they were great but there were many times that I relied on them to do so and they did not.

 

I have a ticket open with them, and quite frankly, I don't really care if they fix it or not.  Because even if they do...how long will it be before they crap the bed again?  Probably not long.

 

There are much lower priced wifi switchs and dimmers that have MUCH higher user reviews and ratings for a fracton of the cost.  That's where I am headed.  Even at $20 a pop, I could have replaced them 3 times over what I paid for one Wemo Dimmer and one Wemo light switch.  And lets not even talk about the ease of use and connectivity for the applications.....

 

So I am sorry if you have numerous devices, or just a few like myself.  I fight the good fight when I think I can.  But I also have to choose the fights I think I can win wisely.  From everything I have read, Belkin (WEMO) does not care to 'fix' the root of the problem here...just patch it here and there and let some customers 'burn' in the process. 

 

Or it could just be my way of thinking....or not. 

WEMO Maker Inventor
Posts: 1,796
Registered: ‎06-14-2014

Re: Flakiest app on my phone by far

Sorry if this is a repeat for some, but this approach worries me and I can't keep quiet...  FWIW I am by no means a belkin advocate.

 

The devices that you can buy at a fraction of the cost are electrical devices that usually not certified for use outside of the country where they were produced (look on the box first).  So no insurance coverage and no company to sue if there's fire damage.

 

They do tend to be cloud-only devices which are easier to design and connect.  But they go straight out through your router to cloud (internet) servers often hosted by companies in countries with very little protection of your personal information. You're giving them your email, gps location, wifi password, device IPs, MAC ids, and often your home address, etc.  They keep a complete database of your habits because the device tells them - what time and days your lights go on and off, etc.

 

Worse, IoT devices punch through your router and can become a bridge back into your network.  Think about where they're connected at the other end.

 

And even if they are a trustworthy company, ask whether they have the experience to avoid being hacked, losing your personal data and exposing your IoT devices.

 

"But I can disable remote access!".  No, you can't.  You can only disable YOUR remote access.  The only way to be safe is to block the device from leaving your router.  Rendering cloud only devices useless.

 

Using IoT devices is a risk.  Using cheap IoT devices is a HUGE risk.  Not to mention security cameras and baby monitors.  Your password is only known to you AND the cloud company that now owns your video clips.  Like they say, the "S" in IoT stands for security.

 

Mike
Reliable and secure (Belkin cloud-free) home automation and remote access:
AutomationManager/HomeBridge/WemoLEDs/WemoHome/MoreInfo
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎03-29-2019

Re: Flakiest app on my phone by far

OK, great. Fantastic. Well said...and very insightful.


Now make them work the way they should and prove me wrong.


I have nothing against WEMO or Belkin, but I do not drink the Kool-Aid and I expect what I PAY for to work the way it should.

WEMO Maker Inventor
Posts: 1,796
Registered: ‎06-14-2014

Re: Flakiest app on my phone by far

It's true that with their poor app and troublesome IoT cloud belkin's WeMos are often not fit for purpose Smiley Sad.  It really shouldn't be this hard, and in fact it isn't - I'm able to get my WeMos to run with rock solid reliability using AutomationManager (it's my own app, link in my signature). For the best security and reliabilty you use an app like AutomationManager as a hub/server inside your network to manage your IoT devices and block the IoT devices from reaching the internet at all using your router firewall.  For remote access you bridge through accounts *you* own instead of the manufacturer.  This lets you chose certified devices without relying the accounts and apps provided someone that cares only about your data, not you or your privacy...

 

We've been discussing things like this in more detail here:  http://community.wemo.com/t5/WEMO-Ideas/Wemo-unavailable/idc-p/52458, there's a few ideas there for improving reliability.

Mike
Reliable and secure (Belkin cloud-free) home automation and remote access:
AutomationManager/HomeBridge/WemoLEDs/WemoHome/MoreInfo
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎03-29-2019

Re: Flakiest app on my phone by far

MikeP, I might just take you up on this.  I have a older kitkat lg pad laying around I can use.  Will take a look at it the program.  Thank you.

Posts: 3
Registered: ‎01-22-2019

Re: Flakiest app on my phone by far

The LED is normal. The devices are connected. If I drag down and refresh they always show up eventually. But the data the app loads with is often out of date and sometimes it takes 2 or 3 refreshes before it updates. I rarely get "not detected" but it does happen occasionally. Alexa also takes 2 tries occasionally.

 

I have 3 Unifi APs on which I have made specific SSIDs to force the wemos to connect to the closest one as it used to be a lot worse and I discovered that they were connecting (and sticking) to an AP on the other side of the house.